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DEMOCRACY  AND   DEMOCRACIES.                    139
colonies themselves. Those colonies vhich had governors
appointed by the crown were self-governing in all things else ;
the few that chose their own chief magistrate were practically
independent, with only a possible interference on the part of
the crown owing to violations of their charters. They all
made their own laws, laid taxes, elected their own represen-
tatives, coined money, contracted debts, established chartered
companies ; and some of the oldest had an established church,
limited only by the toleration act of William III. Thus when
a crisis came they had all necessary political habits, the
knowledge of English precedents, and a reliance on the ex-
perience of many years' contest with trials incident to new
settlements. Add to this that partial confederations had
pointed the way to concerted action whenever the times
should call for it. (Comp.  212, beginning.)
The difficulties of the French in reconstruction were many
times greater than those of the United States. Both had to
resort during their revolutions to paper money, and both were
bankrupt. But France had powerful classes to contend with ;
a vast peasantry, which had been religiously trained under
despotical power, to be secured for the revolution; vast bodies
having an interest unlike that of the revolutionists, to be
watched or driven out; and then all Europe in arms against
the fanatical spread of the new ideas. Nothing of this existed
on the western side of the Atlantic. The people were sub-
stantially one. No religious, nor, at that time, social or sec-
tional differences divided them. There was little of furor in
the movement. Practical ends, with a feeling that they were
injured in their rights as Englishmen, nerved them for the
war. They fought religiously, and a regiment went from one
quarter with the minister of the parish where many of the men
were recruited for their chaplain. They carried away from
the war no hatred of the mother country, although it must be
confessed that the impressment of seamen by Great Britain
and a great infusion of disaffected persons from abroad after-
wards, to a considerable extent, changed their feeling of re-
gard for the land of the ancestors.